Adventure travel is no longer just the purview of the young.
Perhaps it never truly was a pursuit reserved for 20-, 30- and 40-somethings. But a new survey of senior tourists conducted by One Travel and reported by Lonely Planet appears to further confirm this fact.
According to the report, senior travelers have started shifting their vacation plans from traditional beachfront destinations to more exotic locations such as Thailand, Vietnam and Peru.
While Cancun may continue to be the No. 1 international choice of this demographic, the No. 2 and 3 slots are now filled by far more unexpected choices — Tel Aviv, Israel, and Bangkok, Thailand, according to the One Travel survey.
Perhaps somewhat less adventurous, Europe continues to remain a popular international choice, dominating seven of the top 20 choices. Among the most popular European cities are such familiar names as Barcelona, Rome and London.
Similarly, Ted Turner Expeditions noted in a post on its site that while cruises are still incredibly popular, unusual destinations, experiences and objectives are influencing how seniors travel.
Adventure-based vacations are one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry, according to Ted Turner Expeditions, and this holds true for seniors, too, particularly those seeking to check off "bucket list" items as they age.
Data from AARP covering 2018 travel plans for baby boomers support some of this. According to the organization, 47 percent of boomers are looking for a getaway from everyday life this year, up from 39 percent last year.
Some of the most common trips attracting this demographic are hiking, wildlife watching, off-road vehicle or ATV riding and fishing and camping, said Ted Turner Expeditions.
Seniors are also showing renewed interested in educational vacations, which are seen as having numerous benefits including learning, expanding their horizons, allowing them to relate better to their families and the world at large. Educational tours might range from a village visit to a bird-watching hike.
A variety of tour operators and travel companies offer adventure travel designed for senior citizens.
ROW Adventures, for instance, offers what it calls Active Senior Adventure Travel each season exclusively for those who are 50-plus. Among the active trip options is a five-day journey canoeing the Missouri River, which involves camping and hiking as well, while tracing the footsteps of Lewis and Clark.
The company says its trips require moderate physical conditioning and a spirit of adventure, and attract participants well into their 80s.
Elder Treks, meanwhile, offers small group exotic adventures specifically for those who are 50 and over. The company travels to such exotic locales as Papua New Guinea and the Caucasus region, an area located between Russia, Iran and Turkey.
The company specializes in offering off-the-beaten-path, small-group adventures by land and by sea in more than 100 countries.
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